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What Is A Real Estate Deed?

Real estate deeds are crucial legal document that establish and document the transfer of ownership rights from one party to another. The specific type of deed used in a transaction can have significant implications for the buyer's and seller's rights and responsibilities. To better educate potential homeowners, we have broken down what deeds are and how they are processed in a real estate transaction.

real estate signing deed

A real estate deed is a legal and physical document that serves as evidence of the property transfer and outlines the terms and conditions. Essentially, it’s a written proof of the transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. The purpose of a deed is to provide evidence of the transfer of legal ownership and protect the buyer’s interests.

Parties Involved

Grantor is the party who currently owns the property and is transferring their ownership interest to another party. The grantor is also known as the seller or transferor.

Grantee is the party receiving ownership or an interest in the property. The grantee is also known as the buyer or transferee.

Deeds require the signatures of the grantor(s) and are typically signed in the presence of witnesses and sometimes a notary public at closing. The deed must be delivered to the grantee to be effective.

Types of Deeds

Warranty Deed - provides the highest level of guarantee to the grantee, as the grantor warrants that they have clear title and will defend the title against any claims

Quitclaim Deed - transfers whatever interest the grantor has in the property, without any warranties or guarantees of clear title

Special Warranty Deed - provides a limited warranty that the grantor has not caused any defects in the title during their ownership

Bargain and Sale Deed - implies that the grantor has an interest in the property but does not guarantee a clear title.


The deed will include a detailed description of the property for identification purposes and is typically recorded in the public records of the county or jurisdiction where the property is located. Recording makes the transfer of ownership a matter of public record, which is important for establishing legal ownership and protecting the interests of both parties. By recording the deed with the local government, the buyer can establish a legal claim to the property and protect themselves against future disputes.


A title serves as confirmation that the buyer is the rightful owner of the property and that no liens or claims against it are pending that would compromise their ownership rights. To further protect against unforeseen ownership issues, parties involved in a real estate transaction purchase title insurance, which can provide financial protection if there are challenges to the property's title after the sale. A clear title is essential to ensure that a property can be bought, sold, and financed without legal complications.

In summary, a deed is a crucial and legal document used to transfer ownership of real estate from one party to another. The deed is the physical document that formalizes the transfer, and the title is the legal concept that confirms ownership rights and any potential claims or encumbrances on the property.

With the legalities that come with purchasing a home it is important that you work with a title company who is highly versed in real estate transactions and up to date on the entire real estate process. This will insure a more seamless closing and a much more enjoyable experience when it comes to closing day.


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